Design and Technology

Overview

Design and Technology is one of the youngest of subjects, having been created in 1989. Since then it has developed to reflect the rapidly changing world that we live in. We still teach some of the skills that were taught in the days of CDT or woodwork and metalwork, but the subject has changed considerably since those days.

Design and Technology covers a large skill set from the applied art skills of Graphic Design to the applied physics and maths skills of Electronics. At Eltham College, we teach all the areas of Design and Technology and specialise in Product Design – Resistant Materials and Electronic Systems at GCSE and Product Design and Systems and Control at A level.

The Design and Technology Workshops are an exciting place to work; students have made everything from a hovercraft to a robotic fish and educational tables for primary school students to display units for the Mervyn Peake Library.

There are three workshops, all of which are equipped with computer facilities to enable the students to use the subject specific software that enables 2D and 3D drawing along with circuit simulation software. We also have the complete Microsoft Office package that enables the students to use the basic programmes for presenting work alongside the project management software that enables mind maps and project planning to be undertaken.

The workshops are all capable of completing KS3 work as well as being designed for the specialist areas taught at GCSE and A level.

The department has a dedicated CAD/CAM suite which includes a laser cutter, combined routing/milling machine and A3 printer/scanner. Some of the older CAD/CAM machinery is in the progress of being updated including our smaller milling machine and vinyl cutter. We are also waiting for the delivery of a new 3D printer to complete the facilities that the students will be able to use.

The Department aims:

  • Look to the future in a creative and innovative manner
  • Design and make high quality products using a variety of materials and techniques
  • Solve real life problems by making design decisions based upon research and analysis
  • Understand how design fits into a modern enterprise culture
  • Develop both applied art and applied science skills alongside design skills
  • Learn “soft skills” that are in demand from most employers

Curriculum

In the Sixth Form students have the choice between selecting two courses based upon their personal skills and preference and their desired end point.

A level Product Design – Degree level study in a design related course e.g. architecture, product design or industrial design

A level Systems and Control – Degree level study in an engineering related course

Design and Technology is recognised as an essential A level for entry into associated subject areas such as Product Design. The Russell Group of universities also see Design and Technology as a useful third A level for most engineering and technological subjects. It also provides key skills that students need as they progress onto higher education and then employment.

While the two subject areas have similar elements they also cover specific areas that allow more complex understanding of the subject specific skills. In the final year the students are required to obtain a client for whom they can design and make a product to solve a real life problem. Current A level projects include a display area within the school library and a quick change area for the school theatre.

Areas studied

The subject material covered is wide and varied. Students are frequently required to use knowledge imparted in other subjects alongside the subject specific skills that they gain in the workshops. The students also develop the soft skills that are demanded in most work places, including, problem solving, creative thinking, experimentation, research, critical analysis, resilience, presentation – both oral and written. The department’s facilities include computers in every room to ensure students have access to industry standard design software and also all the key Office software for presenting work and developing their project management skills.

We try to keep the workshops open as much as possible so that students can just pop in and make something or use the facilities that are exclusive to the Design and Technology Department. GCSE students have specific evenings set aside for them to come in and use the facilities to enhance their coursework and A level student will frequently use their free periods during the day to work on their coursework.

We are frequently visited by students from other departments; physics students have used the facilities to develop their rockets or manufacture an electro-magnetic rail system, Drama students have developed props, and Art students will often come down for materials and guidance. We have also worked with the Music department in their creation of their Scrap Heap Orchestra.

Trips, activities and clubs

The Design and Technology Department runs regular trips to various places around the UK including, The Design Museum and The New Designers Show.

Staff

  • Mr M Gennari BSc (Head of Design and Technology and International Universities)
  • Mr P Wren BSc TEng
  • Mr J Bacon (Design and Technology Technician)